Saturday, August 25, 2012

Homemade Wheat Thins

I'm always evaluating my grocery budget to see where I can cut expenses. Snacks are one food item that I need to cut back on. My husband likes crackers so when I found this recipe I thought it might be part of the answer I'm looking for.  Anytime I can make something from scratch the better!  I made a batch this morning and they turned out great! The ingredients are items I always have on hand. I didn't price it out but I'm confident it definitely didn't cost me $2.50-$3.00! The recipe makes enough to last a few weeks and the recipe was easy and quick.

Ingredients:

Serves about 13 dozen crackers.(I didn't get nearly this many).
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • additional salt for topping (Optional)
1. Combine flour, sugar, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and mix it thoroughly using your fingers, a pastry blender, a mixer or a food processor. I used my hands. Combine the water and vanilla, and add it to the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.(My dough was very dry. I was concerned it would be crumbly so I ran my hands quickly under the faucet water and added just a smidgeon to the dough.)

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.

3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. (I had already taken one ball out to roll). Keep the other pieces covered while you work with one at a time.

Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin and roll the piece of dough into a large rectangle which should be 12 inches square when trimmed. (I didn't measure). I tried using a normal size rolling pin but found the fondant rolling pin (which I've used to roll thin tortillas) worked the best. Keep flipping the dough and turning it to keep it from sticking. Don't use too much flour or it will make it difficult to roll. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as you can get it without tearing, at least 1/16 inch thick.

Trim the dough to even the edges and use a pizza cutter or as sharp knife to cut the piece into squares approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. Transfer squares to a prepared baking sheet using a spatula; you can crowd them together, as they don't expand while baking.  Sprinkle squares lightly with salt, if desired.

Bake until crisp and BROWNED, 5-7 minutes. Start watching them carefully at 5 minutes.. they bake quickly and can brown to toast! If some brown quicker then you can take those out while the others finish baking. We liked the ones that were browned better than the ones that were not. Remove the crackers from the oven and cool on the pan or on a plate. The crackers will stay crisp for several days, but are best stored in airtight containers.
My husband said they taste like the real deal. Score!!!!!! No more bought crackers.